College of Liberal Arts

APS / PBS (Authorization of Individual Services)

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Prior approval through an APS/PBS form is required for one-time, short-term, or sporadic services provided by an individual or unincorporated sole proprietor when payments are anticipated to total $25,000 or less in any fiscal year.

The nature, scope, and frequency of the services provided will determine if the individual providing the services is treated as an independent contractor (no employee-employer relationship) or as a short-term casual employee.


Which document should I use?
  • HRMS System:
    • Continuing, full-time appointments of two weeks or longer should be handled using standard Office of Human Resources procedures (HMRS).
  • PBS documents (the online version of the APS form) should be used in the following cases:
    • When contracting with an individual to perform a service when a fee or honorarium is being paid.
    • When hiring non-employees for services performed.
    • When hiring current employees for services beyond their appointment.
    • When paying visitors with no TaxID/VID.***
  • Examples include: guest speakers at lectures, seminars, and colloquia; visiting researchers; other professionals that do not provide teaching or researching services, such as professional editors, research subjects, education students’ teaching mentors, professional musicians, etc.

A PBS should not be used when reimbursing only travel expenses. If you are paying for travel only, please use a RTA/VE5.

How it Works

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  1. Submit your APS/PBS to the Dean’s Office in time to receive all permission signatures before the first service date. You will need the signature of the department chair/director before routing the doc forward to the Dean’s Office. Not having the chair/director signature is one of the few actions that will cause the document to be returned to the creator.
    • Please ensure that the account number you have proposed for payment has sufficient funds.
    • Do not use a 20 sub-account for the payment source.
    • If you are paying a vendor, you will need to set up a PIF (use GGV in *DEFINE) before submitting the PBS, in order to get a vendor ID number. Click here for detailed instructions regarding the request for VID numbers (PDF).
    • Please allow sufficient lead time to obtain the information for the VID request. If you have difficulties securing the information in a timely fashion, use the APS document (rather than a PBS).
  2. The APS/PBS is returned to preparing department with dean’s permission.
  3. Have the contractor sign the APS/PBS after the service has been rendered.

    Submit signed APS/PBS with payment document.
    • Use an OV7 if you are paying a UT employee or a VP2 if you are paying a non-UT employee.
    • If this is a moving expense reimbursement for $1000 or more, please confirm in the accompanying VP2 document Notes that the voucher cover sheet with original receipts and a copy of the offer letter have been sent to the Dean’s Office for approval.


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Note: PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. PPT files require Microsoft Viewer.


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Please direct comments on the Procedures Guide to

Tips or FAQs

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  • My APS/PBS was submitted after the service began, but has not be approved by the Dean’s Office.  What should I do?
    You will need to explain the reason(s) for the late approval.  Please use concise, business terminology. Include the explanation either:
    1. on the PBS, in the notes section.
    2. on the APS, in an attached paper document.
  • Can I pay a UT Austin faculty or staff member as a consultant?
    A faculty member shall not be paid for services that would be considered a part of their academic responsibilities (which includes service). Example: A faculty member who gives a lecture, provides a translation, etc., should not be paid on an APS/PBS. However, if you wish to employ a faculty member to serve as a referee in a basketball game, then an APS/PBS would be appropriate, since the duties lie outside his/her regular activities.

    The same rule applies for staff members, who should be paid on an APS/PBS only for duties outside the normal scope of the job.

  • I’m hiring a student to help with research. Can I use an APS/PBS?
    If the student is being hired for the semester, they should be appointed through the HRMS instead.
  • What is the preferred way to handle amendments to an APS/PBS?
    If the document has been approved and you want to change an account number or the service dates by more than one day you will need to resubmit the original APS/PBS with changes. Note the amendment at the top of the document. Everyone who signed the original document will need to re-sign by initialing their signatures. The amended document still needs to be processed before the first date of service.
  • How should I handle a blanket APS/PBS?
    When there are 10 or more participants who will be paid for the same service and service dates, you can prepare a blanket APS. Attach a sheet to the APS providing the following information for all participants:
    • Name
    • EID
    • Amount to be paid. Lump like amounts together on the sheet.
  • I am anticipating travel expenses for a visitor. The airfare will be central billed but there may be additional travel expenses that need to be reimbursed.
    An APS can be used when you are direct billing and no payment is being made to the traveler directly (there is no need to set up a vendor ID in this case).

    If you are reimbursing the traveler for additional expenses, and they are not a UT employee, then you should use a RTA/VE5 instead of an APS.

  • Can I use an APS/PBS for a househunting trip?
    No, if you are processing a payment for a househunting trip you should use a VP2.
  • Can I use the PBS document for an international traveler without a U.S.Tax ID Number?
    Yes, except when the account used for payment is a contracts and grants account (26-account). Additional paperwork may still be required to process any payment made to a non-U.S. resident. 
  • Graduate Students
    The Graduate School will not approve APS/PBS documents to hire graduate students to provide services for a duration greater than two weeks. Graduate students should be assigned as UT employees in HRMS if the duration exceeds 2 weeks.

Last Modified: 19 October 2017